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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

SNP warn Labour will not end austerity on its own

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has today warned that Labour will not end austerity if left to its own devices as John McDonnell threatened to vote against Labour plans to continue with 'targeted cuts' to get the deficit down.

Veteran Labour politician John McDonnell used an interview with the New Stateman to promise that he would vote against any budget or spending review that includes cuts and suggest ‘a block of thirty to forty leftwing Labour backbench MPs’ could join Mr McDonnell in doing likewise.

The problem for the Labour party is, as the SNP see it, is they voted with the Tories, earlier this year, for a further £30bn of austerity cuts and Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, told the BBC's Today Programme, the morning after the budget that there was nothing in George Osborne’s last budget that he needed to change. The SNP say they have made clear that they will seek to build a progressive alliance with voices from across the UK who are opposed to austerity to ensure that Westminster must change course.

Commenting, SNP General Election Campaign Director Angus Robertson said: "SNP MPs will work to build a progressive alliance across the UK to put an end to plans for more cuts. While John McDonnell rightly wants to see an end to austerity, there is no escaping the fact that Labour will not deliver this if left to their own devices - that is why it is vital that Scotland elects a strong team of SNP MPs to achieve change.

"Labour voted with the Tories for a further £30 billion of austerity cuts, and Ed Balls made clear that he didn't see anything in George Osborne's budget that he would change. Only the election of a strong team of SNP MPs, using their clout to support progressive policies, will end the austerity politics of the Westminster establishment." Mr Robertson added.